I know it is February now and it’s much too late to be wishing people well for the New Year but I am going to continue on the theme of new beginnings from last month’s issue.
In fact, I have a confession to make: when I wrote my first deputy editor’s letter it was actually December and my brain was more attuned to a sense of ending rather than beginning so I had to ape it slightly. Now, writing in late- January, I am feeling the full psychological effects of annual renewal.
This year’s second issue of Leasing Life, the first to be produced in 2013, feels to me like it is fizzing with a vibrant optimism and brimming with the enthusiasm necessary to make 2013 a very good year for leasing.
The plans of the Leasing Foundation laid out by Andrew Denton on page 10 typify this sentiment.
After setting up in the summer of 2012 and having called many of the great and good of European leasing to its banner in subsequent months, the Leasing Foundation has some ambitious plans for 2013.
These plans, which involve education, industry research and a project to develop the role of women in leasing, are all hugely positive targets and have something close to defiance about them as well as a sense of rejuvenating the industry.
These aims are defiant in the face of several well-documented sector-specific challenges – an aging industry, a lack of personnel diversity and an ongoing identity crisis – and not just the continually tough economic times.
I hope in its first full year of operation the Foundation will be able to achieve at least some of these aims and I urge readers and the wider industry to actively engage with the Foundation in its endeavours.
There is a sense of defiance from German lessors in this month’s examination of Germany’s leasing market too.
Industry leaders there are bold in the face of slowing economic growth and restrictive regulation to the extent they have not only still achieved business growth in 2012 but are targeting further expansion and competitive gain in 2013.
The same article reveals the German leasing market is also imbued with considerable confidence in its importance to the German economy, which I hope can breed confidence in those working in other, smaller leasing markets where, after all, there is more room to grow.
Optimism is also reflected, I think, in the number of recruitment stories this month with a particularly busy period for employers in the fleet sector.
January was a month for new beginnings after all and I happen to know there are many more personnel stories in the pipeline so keep an eye on leasinglife.com to see who goes where – for this month and beyond.
In ancient Rome February was considered a time of cleansing and renewal, indeed we get February from the purification festival of Februalia held during the month, so it seems a good time for the industry to revitalise, to make plans and set ambitions for a resilient year.
But I hope the industry can hold on to that bold sense of defiance too. After all, the month of March also has a Roman origin.